Friends, more often than not, are the people you can count on through the best and worst times of your life. They’re the family you get to choose, whose successes are also yours and their failures, likewise.
However, nobody can bat a thousand, and it’s only human to err. Sometimes, our judgment can get the better of us, and it may not perform to the standard to which we feel we've honed it. Sometimes, we make the mistake of befriending someone who, in the end, will turn out to be, put simply, a fake friend.
Many people encounter fake friends throughout their lifetime. It’s not exclusive to any age group. It’s not unique to children or common for teenagers or expected for adults. Friendships are a vital part of our growth as humans but sometimes, for whatever misguided reason or none at all, we tend to entrust this bond to those who, retrospectively, are obviously less than worthy.
But how can you spot a fake friend?
It’s difficult to do so during the goings-on of the “friendship” but there are always tell-tale signs, like:
- Constant requests for favors and a suspicious unavailability when asked to reciprocate,
- A greater placement of importance on their own affairs, or
- Blatantly disrespecting or belittling others within their circle of friends
Many people excuse their fake friends because they sometimes have a “strong personality” that just “takes some getting used to”, but it’s that innate desire to seek the best in people that most humans have that keeps us from disposing of fake friends to make way for new healthier and mutually beneficial relationships.
However, time indeed does heal all wounds and, as sure as the day is long, one can only take so much from a relationship that gives so little.
The best thing we can remember when we reach those crossroads is to use our words and that nothing can be gained from loud arguments and hurtful jabs. Afterwards, the best we can hope for is that we can form better, more genuine friendships with people we can indeed trust. Dr. Liane Holliday Willey, who lives with Asperger’s, understands the value of genuine friendships and knows the most effective ways to form such relationships. Ultimately, it’s up to us to know what we want out of our friendships, as well as deciding when to tell our fake friends that enough is enough.